A listening relationship with our customers
In this sense, it’s pioneering.
Because it’s only by listening to our customers that we’re able to develop our products and services, diversifying what we offer to identify new avenues of growth. To come up with bespoke solutions, responding to the technical and economic challenges of our customers, we capitalize on our close relationships. We immerse ourselves collectively at the very heart of the issues they experience throughout the entire life cycle of our products.
This approach, through which we generate ideas both for our customers and with our customers, also known as ‘front end innovation’, takes the form of co-creation workshops based on a design thinking approach.
We also encourage our employees to share their good ideas.
Having trained our employees in design thinking, we’ve launched an internal, multi-disciplinary and international innovation platform to bring their innovative ideas to fruition.
Finally, we encourage openness to new ideas from start-ups, laboratories and innovative small businesses. This system is underpinned by « Open Innovation Platform », which makes it possible to submit - in a very simple way - proposals either around challenges identified by Vallourec or on any other innovative subject. For example, the latest challenges looked at identifying solutions to make tubes ‘smart’ or ‘augmented’ (used for transmitting data or energy). The start-ups, laboratories and companies who submit the selected ideas are offered win-win partnerships with the Vallourec teams.
It’s also - and especially - about bringing new solutions to the market.
From this point of view, the fast execution of selected ideas is a key factor of success. As such, Vallourec has introduced ‘boosters’. These boosters are a new, more agile way of innovating, relying on the commitment of a specific team and partnerships with customers and future users alike, to develop a solution without waiting for it to be completely finalized.
In 2019, Vallourec established two boosters, one dedicated to digital solutions and another responsible for developing solutions around additive manufacturing (3D printing). The development and marketing in record time of some of our highly innovative solutions have demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach, served and enhanced by the power of digital technology. And we’re already planning more!